How Much Do Teachers Earn in South Africa?

So, you want to enter the teaching profession and wonder how much money will you be earning per month or year?

Today we want to show you how much teachers earn in South Africa, in both private and public schools.

While there isn't a straightforward answer to the question, teacher’s average salary varies based on different aspects such as grade and subjects, level of experience, and school type (public/private).

Teaching offers a stable career with guaranteed long-term benefits, and we hope the following will help you decide.

Without wasting your time, let’s dive right to it.

What is the Role of a Teacher?

The primary role of a teacher is to deliver instructions according to a curriculum to help students learn and guide them of their future success.

As a teacher, you’ll need to give lessons to pupils, manage class materials and connect with students in order to deliver an effective session.

Because you’ll be spending more time with learners at school, you’re automatically the guardian and required to function as a parent to them as well.

You’ll share with them the knowledge to succeed academically, in life and career.

Average Grade R Teacher Salary

Grade R teachers tend to have the lowest salaries in South Africa, According to jobted.co.za  and safacts.co.za, a Grade R teacher earns an average entry-level salary of R86,300 gross per year and R7,551 per month.

While experienced Grade R teachers with 10-20 years of experience make on average R114,000 per annum and R130 000 for teachers with more than 2 decades of experience.

Primary School Teacher Salary

Primary education is the first step of formal education in South Africa.

Teachers in primary schools have a critical role in molding students' educational paths and developing their intelligence and work habits.

Primary school teachers are estimated to earn an average salary of R228,094 for an entry-level role, while senior level teachers earn an R387,857 per year according to an estimate by salaryexpert.com.

According to another research and data collection on jobted.co.za an experienced primary school teacher with over a decade of experience can expect to earn an average monthly salary of R23,000 - R25,000 per month while entry-level and mid-level earns a moderately decent amount between R12,000 to R17,000 on average per month.

Secondary or High School Teacher Salary

In South Africa, an entry-level high school teacher with less than three years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of R230,000 gross per year.

A mid-career high school teacher with 4-9 years of experience could potentially earn R285,000 on average salary, while experienced teachers with 10-20 years of experience make on average R370,000.

Secondary or high school teachers with more than 20 years of experience may earn more than R480,000 a year. A decent salary for a successful career and lifestyle.

Private VS Public Schools Salaries

There are two types of schools in South Africa, i.e., public or private.

So, choosing where you want to work will determine how you’ll earn as a teacher.

Private schools are run independently of the government, so they are in charge of their own curriculum, ethos, and funding. While public schools are normally run and managed by the government and paid for with taxes and they teach according to a government-approved curriculum.

While it’s popularly known that private schools are much better resourced, teachers tend to earn higher than those working in public schools. While in some instances a private school will only be able to offer teachers part-time roles, meaning their salaries will fluctuate depending on the demand for lessons and how many times a teacher will be needed to teach.

Teaching in a government school is one of the most lucrative professions, with the advantage of having a stable guaranteed salary that doesn’t depend on school performance or student fees. On the other hand, a private school teacher’s salary mostly depends on how well the school is funded.

Another factor that influences the difference in pay scale between public and private teachers is the demand for teachers based on the student population. There are more public schools in South Africa, with large student volumes than private schools.

Salary of a Teacher: Subject Wise

Teachers are also paid differently according to what subjects they teach because some subjects form part of the most sought qualification in the country while others become obsolete with time.

According to talent.com. The average maths teacher salary in South Africa is R288,000 per year. Entry-level positions start at R216,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up R2,407,524 per year.

payscale.com, the average English teacher salary in South Africa is R360,000 per year. And entry-level positions start at R232,500 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R504,000 per year.

Other factors that determine teachers' spay scale is the location, qualification, and skills.

If you have a calling to teach, there are several choices to be made about one’s career. What subject will you teach, what age are students, and geographically, where do you want to work?

Answering the above will help you decide whether to pursue a teaching career in public or private schools. Teaching careers often have similar educational and certification requirements, but the environments can be quite different, so it’s important to compare all the benefits with the downsides when choosing your career path.

Where to Find Teaching Jobs

There are several options when it comes to searching for a teaching position. 

Job search websites

You can look at teaching-focused job search websites like:

Here is a list of all the Provincial Education Departments’ vacancies pages:

Direct applications to schools

Another way to locate your first teaching position is to go to the school you’re particularly interested in by visiting the websites of the school and lookup for available job positions. Keep in touch with the schools you volunteered with or worked at previously. Network with school staff, friends, or your mentor to see if they have any openings.

To find the best school for you, you need to think about what's important to you, considering the ethos, site, and size of the school you'd like to work at. Start searching early and don't just apply to any school. Remember you are not the only candidate applying for the position so it’s always best to make your CV stand out.

Good Luck!